FCC Enforcement Action to Block Calls from Seven Carriers

For the first time ever, the Federal Communications Commission has announced enforcement actions that will remove seven different carriers from its Robocall Mitigation Database after being accused of failing to implement anti-spam measures like the STIR/SHAKEN protocols. The companies have 14 days to prove to the FCC why they should not be removed, and if they are not successful, anyone using those seven carriers will be blocked from receiving calls.

The Who: The carriers are Akabis, Cloud4, Global UC, Horizon Technology, Morse Communications, Sharon Telephone, and SW Arkansas. In each case, the carrier failed to share their plans to identify and eliminate robocall traffic on their networks, including their implementation of STIR/SHAKEN, which authenticates calls and callers and stamps out callers spoofing phone numbers.

Why This Matters: This is the strongest demonstration to date about how series the FCC is at doing whatever it can to identify and eliminate robocalls. Carriers that do not certify they have implemented STIR/SHAKEN must file reports detailing the steps they have taken to ensure they are not the source of robocalls. If a carrier does not do that, its traffic must be blocked.

What the FCC is Saying: “STIR/SHAKEN is not optional,” said Loyaan A. Egal, acting Chief of the FCC”s Enforcement Bureau. “And if your network isn’t IP-based so you cannot yet use these standards, we need to see the steps taken to mitigate illegal robocalls. These providers have fallen woefully short and have now put at risk their continued participation in the U.S. communications system. While we’ll review their responses, we will not accept superficial gestures given the gravity of what is at stake.”

What Happens Next: The seven companies have 14 days to show cause they should not be removed from the database.

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